WELLNESS & VACCINATION
Kittens and puppies must be protected against the major infectious diseases before they are taken or allowed outside. The course will usually consist of two injections given 2-4 weeks apart and generally can be started from 8 weeks of age.
Dogs are normally protected against Distemper, Hepatitis, Canine Herpes Virus two forms of Leptospirosis andParvovirus infections. The vaccines also give some protection against Infectious Tracheo-Bronchitis (Kennel Cough) but an additional intra-nasal vaccine is often necessary before boarding in kennels. We recommend a developmental check at 6 months of age.
It is important at this time to see that growth and general health is normal and gives you any advice that may be necessary. Cats are usually protected against the Cat Flu Viruses, Infectious Enteritis and Feline Leukemia Virus. Booster injections are necessary and the appropriate vaccine will be given at the annual health check. These regular checks are important to assess overall health and identify any problems that may not always be obvious. The condition of teeth, the worming schedule, possible flea infestation, behavioral problems and diet can all be discussed.
Vaccination protects against the five major infectious diseases. These are all highly contagious, can need extensive and expensive treatments and with the exception of kennel cough may be fatal. None of them needs to be a problem when your animal is covered by vaccinations.
Vaccination protects against diseases which can cause your cat to become severely ill and may lead to death or continued ill health.
Female cats will nearly always be routinely neutered. It is of course possible to let a female have a litter and then carry this out afterwards. However it should be remembered that it is not always possible to find homes for the kittens and there are often unwanted kittens and cats that need good homes. If female cats were left un-neutered they would continue having two litters a year for life. Male cats should also be routinely neutered to prevent their fighting and wandering tendencies which inevitably lead to either early death or injury by road accidents or from diseases contracted from their life style. Urine marking with its strong odour is also avoided.
Female dogs are usually neutered to avoid the continued problem of their seasons which occur twice yearly and also to avoid 'false pregnancy' which often occurs 6-8 weeks after the season. Early neutering will significantly reduce the chances of mammary tumours later in life and of course avoid the occurrence of infection of the uterus (pyometra). Male dogs are most often neutered to avoid behavioural problems such as aggression, wandering and urine marking.
Please do not hesitate to ask for advice on this subject if you have any concerns. The operations involved (castration and hysterectomy) require a general anaesthetic. Hysterectomy is of course a more major surgery and although occasional problems can be encountered the procedure is usually routinely straightforward.
Spaying, or neutering, involves the removal of the ovaries and the uterus (Ovario-hysterectomy). Surgery can be performed from 5 – 6 months provided the female dog is not in season. However, if surgery has been delayed to after the first season, then the optimum time to spay is 3 months after the finish of the season.
Castration, or neutering, involves the surgical removal of the testicles and can be done in any male dog from 5 – 6 months onwards.
Ovaro-hysterectomy is the medical term for spaying or neutering female cats. The procedure consists of the surgical removal of the ovaries and the uterus. Surgery can be performed at any age but is best done at about 6 months of age before the cat comes into season for the first time.
The Flea Problem
Flea infestations have always been a persistent and all-year-round problem. They are commonly found on dogs and cats and rapidly become a household issue as well. It is important to recognise signs of fleas early or preferably avoid them altogether with preventive measures. Once they've been contracted in the household, which can easily happen surreptitiously and without detection, it can then take a rather long time to clear out.
Fleas are a major cause of skin disease in cats and dogs and once the skin is sensitised, severe problems can emerge with just one or two bites. Come to us and have your pet checked for fleas and avail of the proper advice on its effective treatment and prevention.
It is important to make sure that pets are regularly wormed. Kittens and puppies must always be thoroughly wormed when they first arrive as roundworms are commonly present at this time. This treatment will normally be supplied when the initial vaccines are given. Once pets start to go outside, roundworm eggs can be picked up from the ground. Because of this, routine treatment against roundworm is advised every 3 months. Responsible dog ownership should then involve the picking up and disposal of stools together with regular worming. This will mean that fewer worms contaminate the environment.
Fleas are the most usual source of tapeworm and cats because of their fastidious grooming habits are particularly prone. If fleas are found then measures to treat them must be undertaken as well as tapeworm dosing.
Protecting your dog against worms is as much a part of good pet care as diet and exercise. Worms are important because they affect your pet's condition and wellbeing as well as having health concerns for you and your family. There are 3 main types of worms affecting dogs: (1) Roundworms (2) Tapeworms and (3) Lungworms. Roundworms and Tapeworms are intestinal parasites which can be found in any dog although infection is easily treated. Lungworm affects the heart and blood vessels of the lungs and can cause serious problems
Protecting your cat against worms is an important part of good pet care. Worms are important because they affect your pet's condition and wellbeing as well as having health concerns for you and your family. Two types of worms affect cats: Roundworms and Tapeworms. Both are intestinal parasites which can be found in any cat although infection is easily treated.
Most pets will experience some dental problems in their lives. Unfortunately some begin at an early age and some can be of a rather severe nature – up to 80% of dogs and cats can be affected. Regular dental checks are to be advised. The annual health check and booster vaccination appointment provides an ideal moment to asses these problems, together with other concerns such as parasite control and diet.
Proper diet, various aides and the provision of 'chews' will help considerably but active dental care such as brushing is more effective. With a little commitment, these procedures are quite possible, especially if started at an early age When disease is evident then treatment will be needed. Ultra-sonic dental scaling under anaesthetic is often necessary and where disease has progressed then extractions may be required. Quite sophisticated specialist dental procedures are now available where these can be of benefit.
Life Stage Diets
A well balanced diet is probably one of the most important aspects of healthy normal growth in puppies and kittens. Incorrect diet can be responsible for growth deformities, chronic diarrhoea, poor condition and obesity. VetEssentials diets provide the perfect balance of nutrition needed at all life stages and are to be strongly recommended. Growth, maintenance and senior diets are available along with others for more particular needs. Older pets will benefit greatly from diets formulated to their changing requirements.
We even have a food that combats senility changes! We recommend VetEssentials for your pet's particular nutritional needs. There is a 100% money-back offer from Hills in the unlikely event that Fluffy or Felix do not like their new food. Hills VetEssentials Diets Prescription Diets are of great benefit in the management of a wide range of disease conditions and for recovery from illness or surgery. Specially formulated diets are also available for weight reduction programs and are used to great effect in the "weight watcher" clinics run by our trained nurses.
We certainly understand that having your pet undertake general anaesthesia can be a rather worrying time. We have tried to minimise any concerns you may have by using the safest anaesthetic agents. One of our nurses will admit your pet and may advise a pre-op blood test to check some basic metabolic functions which depend on the animal's age and previous history.
Maintaining a proper diet, using various aides and the provision of 'chews' will help considerably but implementing active dental care such as brushing is always more effective. With a little commitment, these procedures are quite possible, especially if started at an early age. When disease is evident then treatment will be needed. Ultra-sonic dental scaling under anaesthetic is often necessary and where disease has progressed then perhaps even an extraction may be required. Quite sophisticated specialist dental procedures are now available where they can be of benefit.